Technology Talk


Has 3D TV Given Up?


2010 brought about a change in television that was heavily pushed by manufacturers and service providers – 3D television technology. However, it did not excite the critics and received a lukewarm response at best from buyers. 3D mostly thrived in the film industry, and there is a very little chance 3D television will thrive in the future.

3D TV was never really at the top of TV entertainment, and its downfall began fairly soon after its inception. The larger TV audience was never impressed with the technology, and a variety of reasons such as silly glasses and bad visibility resulted in a negative experience for them. After the initial rush to buy the latest television slowed down, users really didn’t find any inherent value in owning the technology due to the lack of content. Watching one movie every few months that looks better in 3D wasn’t enough for customers to be hooked on it. The manufacturers also slowly lost interest in promoting this offering. A 3D TV, which was initially accompanied by 4 pairs of glasses, eventually came with only two, and later, only one pair of 3D glasses, which isn’t enough if you want to enjoy the 3D entertainment with your family.

Perhaps, the biggest blow to 3D TV yet came from the top television manufacturer, Samsung. The company made a conscious decision to not offer 3D functionality with any of its new models. The first cue to the development was the news that Samsung did not place any fresh orders for more 3D glasses. Then, at the Consumer Electronic Show (CES) 2016, no 3D supported televisions were up on display. By now, it is clear that Samsung will not be channeling its resources to 3D functionality, which is a welcome change. The company’s arm in Europe and Korea have already made it clear that the market will not see any new 3D TV from the manufacturer, and the company is sticking to this strategy in the US markets as well.


The story with other manufacturers is similar as well. LG has not completely abandoned 3D TV, unlike Samsung, but the future of 3D TV is not bright at LG either. About one-third of all the LG television sets released in the US in 2016 will support the feature. However, LG’s flat 4K OLED series for 2016 will not follow suit, which is really bad news for 3D fans. EF9500 series was really the best 3D product that the market had seen so far. Even Sony is only going to offer 3D with only the X930D and X940D series TV sets in 2016.

Vizio is not a global brand like Samsung and LG, but it is a big name in the US market. This TV manufacturer hasn’t released a 3D TV since 2013, even in its higher end model, which is again not encouraging.

This is not to say that 3D content is just going to disappear from the planet; gamers in particular love 3D television sets, because they offer a much better gaming experience. Moreover, 3D movies will be released and streaming services like Netflix and Amazon also offer select 3D titles. So, you will find the 3D functionality in your TV useful in the coming months and years — you can finally use the funky 3D glasses more frequently now. However, 3D will definitely not be in the game for the long haul. The VR headsets that are coming into the market now are basically an upgrade to 3D in every way. With the emergence of Oculus Rift, Samsung Gear VR and other VR devices, 3D has taken another big blow.

So, has 3D given up? It has failed to create a loyal fan following for itself for obvious reasons. The consumers have given up on it for the lack of content, and the manufacturers have given up on it because they do not see any real demand for it. The advent of new technology has only dug the grave deeper for the 3D television.

If you are one of the few that like 3D television, then you will have to choose from a very limited spread of TVs in the market. Not only this, but whatever option you do end up choosing will probably cost you more. So, it might be a better decision on your part to give up on 3D now since it most certainly will not be a part of the next generation of entertainment that will rule the market.


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